One Math Class – The Value of a Single Class

By Sophie Klein, SED 2016

Math. If you cringed seeing that word then you are like me. When I found out that I only had to take one math class for all of college I was ecstatic. After having countless years of horrible math class experiences I was excited to finally get math class done with. When it came time for that one math class, I started to get anxious. I was nervous because I know how important math is and how a good teacher can make all the difference, I did not want to be that bad math teacher that everyone remembers.

photo credit: rbbaird via photopin cc

photo credit: rbbaird via photopin cc

When I told my friends about how the only math class I had to take was on how to teach children in preschool through second grade how to do math they laughed and said “That’s so easy.” Wrong. It is hard, and I figured that out quickly. However, instead of being discouraged like I usually am in math classes I was determined and interested in what I was learning. I never thought I would say this, but math was my favorite class last semester.

I learned about ideas that seem to be simple, but are actually so complex. I learned a whole new way of doing math, and I loved it. Instead of memorizing facts, I am learned why math rules work and how they work. Rather than looking only for the correct answer, my class learned why the answer is correct. I never thought a math class could be so interesting. I also learned how differently each student thinks about math, and why it is important to understand where certain rules in math come from, so I can help students understand their mistakes. By really going into detail about simple topics, such as addition, I now understand what I am teaching and why it is important for me to know.

I genuinely feel confident now in my abilities to teach math when I become a teacher. I know that because of this class and professor I will be able to effectively teach my students so they understand what they are learning. Although some students are internally motivated to learn, others take a little more encouragement. I think that knowledgeable, confident, and enthusiastic teachers are what students need and deserve in subjects that may be harder than others. As a student who has always struggled with math, I was lucky enough last semester to have a professor that possessed those qualities and showed me that math is not as scary as it seems.

*Sophie Klein is a sophomore at Boston University School of Education studying early childhood education.

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